More threads by SS8282


Due to my various health issues I see different specialists. Unfortunately, I need to take time off to see them, especially my shrink whom I see once a month. In May, I've already taken time off 3 times to see different doctors, and next week, and the week after, I have to take time off again to see,yet, another specialist.

My boss has never given me any problems about taking off early, but I feel bad about it, and wondered if I should tell him. I know managers don't like people taking so much time off, and 1 part of me thinks that telling him is a good idea, and would help him understand. Another part of me thinks it's a bad idea, and would harm me. I had a very bad experience once with a company after I told my manager about my illnesses and why I had to take stress leave. At the time, employers can't do anything to help if they don't know, and it's the employee's responsibility to let the employer know, so the employer can make necessary accommodations.

Anyway, I don't want to get to the point where my boss gets fed up with me taking time off all the time. So... should I tell him what's going on, or not? Any advice?


Hello SS8282,

I don't think you need to tell your employer the details of your medical history. Like diagnoses or tests being done. I would think that the only time you need to mention anything is if your employer starts to question or become concerned about your time off. If that's the case then I would just say that you are attending medical appointments and you can provide a certifacte if he would like one.

I always try to book my appointments after or before work hours but that's not always possible. I can also make up hours missed if need be by staying later on another day.


Hi SS8282,

If you would get more tense of not telling him than telling him then be open about it.

For myself, I think I would prefer being open about it. Perhaps also to co-workers. I think it will be so difficult not to tell and it occupies your mind quite a lot. You don't have to tell a lot, but just enough to make you feel comfortable again.
I had similar questions a few months before I went on medical leave. I also had lots of appointments with various specialists. I chose not to tell my employer for a long time - but then again, I didn't tell ANYBODY what was really going on with me.

I was really scared that I would be judged and would lose my job. I didn't know that legally, I couldn't be let go based on a medical condition (I had always worked for myself and this was my first real permanent, fully time position).

I eventually did tell him, but I didn't go into too many details about it. I told him because we have a mutual respect for each other and he is a very supportive, empathetic and understanding person. I knew he was legitimately concerned for me. It turned out that I was extremely fortunate to have him as a manager because he has been incredibly supportive of me and my commitment to get "better".

However, I'm not sure that I would have the same response if it were someone else.


My experiences has been that I've been hurt both by telling and not. When I was with another company, I told my manager (VP and Director of Human Resources) and she made my life in the office a living hell. To her, it was one more ammunition. I ended up getting a lawyer, etc.

I've also mentioned my illnesses to some managers (not mine) and they've been very supportive.

I know legally I can't be fired, but people can be very devious, and play on my weaknesses. So, I don't really know what to do. In the meantime, I feel guilty when I have to go to an appointment. Since May, I've had 3 appointments, and 2 more to go to in June. *sigh* What to do, what to do....

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
It does make a difference who you are working for but my general recommendation is to provide only minimal details. After all, lots of people have non-life-threatening medicall issues that require frequent appointments and not all of them can be scheduled outside office hours (for example, I had allergy shots for about 6 years, weekly in the beginning).


If you're requiring time off on a regular basis for medical appointments, it might be a good idea to tell your boss that you have some personal medical issues and seeing a doctor for treatment. You don't have to discuss what those issues are, but giving the boss a heads up isn't, necessarily, a bad idea. Most employers are understanding about the requirement for medical care, and they're well aware that doctors hours coincide with most peoples' working hours.
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